Saturday, May 21, 2022

Revelation - A Book of the Past and the Future (Part 6)


6ο Μέρος

Greetings EVERYONE! It’s very good to be here with you once again! Welcome our friends in Malaysia; here in the States, Evansville, Indiana; Owensboro, Kentucky, and all around this world. Welcome to the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries and this sixth part of a series on the Book of Revelation – the revelation of Jesus Christ! And I want to give a shout-out to all our brethren around the world – the congregations that are out there and our brethren that work every week to set up a place where God’s holy name is, a place to meet and observe the Sabbath day. Sometimes it is sort of like a thankless job to have to set up and make a place for everyone to meet for Sabbath day – even if you are watching the sermons online. Our dear brethren like Don Everly who Sabbath after Sabbath makes sure that Minister Garrett is ready to go without any hiccups. Or our dear brother Erick Odhiambo in the Republic of Kenya of Eastern Africa who is making certain that all our brethren there have access to God’s living Word, Truth, and Plan for the redemption of all mankind! I just want to extend a warm THANK YOU and great appreciation for all of you – because we don’t get to talk to all our brethren and friends that are out there, and we often get asked, “When are we going to come to Owensboro again or to Kenya and speak with us!?” And most time our financial situation doesn’t allow us to go and visit all the places that we need to go. And I know that we surely need to. And we read in the writings of the apostle Paul how he had a great desire to go to many places, and a great many of them he didn’t make it to. But he always wanted to go and he had a fond place in his heart for all of them – as we do here.

Well, here we are in the Book of Revelation! In the last of this series we left off at verse 13 of the 8th chapter – “And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven [the atmosphere], saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’”

So, everything up to here has been most horrible! But now this angelic being is announcing, “You haven’t seen anything yet!” The last three are going to shake the world to the core!

So here we are reading what the apostle John wrote in which our Lord Jesus Christ had informed him to write. He was seeing in vision (s) – a vivid dream, and even possibly some nightmares upon reading some of the portions of the Book of Revelation. That the apostle John actually saw – in vivid color – with our Lord Jesus instructing him, “’ I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, … who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” With no doubt that it was JESUS CHRIST – the Revelator. He was instructing John to write down just what he saw and to distribute these writings to all the seven churches which were in Asia Minor at that time. Throughout this series, we have identified Him as the Lamb of God, and in these early chapters, we went over Him beginning to open these seals – the first being a WHITE HORSE. And if we compare this with the Book of Matthew chapter 24 – we believe this has a DOUBLE MEANING. We think it may partially be referring to our Lord Jesus Christ in unleashing the end-time ‘great tribulation’ upon the peoples of the world. But, it also is talking about FALSE RELIGION. The false religion in the guise of the Mother Church of Europe helping to plunge this world into another world war! We know that our Lord Jesus revealed just what those seals picture.

The second seal was a RED HORSE. And we don’t think there’s any question about what this represents. It’s talking about war! And in the Book of Matthew, our Lord describes this very seal – “’ And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.’

The third seal was a BLACK HORSE. Referring to famine. Which in vision the apostle John saw ‘he who sat upon this horse having a pair of scales in his hand measuring a quart of wheat for a penny and three quarts of barley for a penny – and to be careful not to harm the oil or the wine.’ Of course, these are major food items. Items which we need to live.

And then the fourth seal which was a PALE HORSE. Emblematic of pestilences and death – which often occurs after wars and famine.

And, something which does need to be understood. This FOURTH SEAL begins just prior to the Day of the LORD – what the prophet Jeremiah calls ‘Jacob’s trouble’ – Jeremiah 30:7. The majority of the Anglo-Saxon nations – the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and her Commonwealth Nations – Australia, Canada, and New Zealand will be affected.

Now, the fifth seal is the martyrdom of the saints. Throughout history, many people were martyred doing God’s work. In the very near future, there will be even more. There are people out there who have a little of God’s Spirit, but are not doing much with it – it’s sort of just sitting there on a shelf, spoiling. And these people will be thrust into a severe tribulation in this end-time. A group of end-time prophets (of which I spoke of in the latest sermon “Just Where Are We Headed?”) – which is not a biblical term. In great likelihood (cf. Ecclesiastes 1:9) since the New Testament Church began with twelve apostles, the end of this age may end with twelve end-time prophets!? Though God’s living word does not directly say. Twelve individuals hand-picked by Jesus Christ to go into ‘all the world as a witness to all nations’ and preach the gospel message of the soon-coming kingdom of God. – Matthew 24:14. Taking this message to legislative branches, world leaders, presidents, and even the European civil leader. So, this fifth seal is talking about the martyrdom of God’s true servants - what we have dubbed “the end-time prophets.”

Moving onto the sixth seal is a major earthquake which is prophesied to occur – the likes of which the world has never witnessed before!

And picking back up where we left off – we come to the SEVENTH SEAL. “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2) And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.”

So the seventh seal is equivalent to the beginning of the SEVEN TRUMPETS.

Again, let’s focus a moment on the word “silence.” This word silence is used here poetically and is akin to something which the prophet Job writes – “ … A form was before my eyes; There was silence; Then I heard a voice …” – Job 4:16. A hush, a whisper, a calm comes over God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Also poetically used to indicate respectful attention – even a kind of melancholy. A sadness which befalls God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, because They know what is about to occur to the world They love.

Now, this is a prophetic statement – “silence in heaven for about half an hour” – the wrath of God is about to completely fall upon all mankind! “ … a memorial of blowing of trumpets, …” – Leviticus 23:24. That has a most prophetic meaning even back then, and this is the meaning right here!

We have previously gone through the opening of this seventh seal - each one of these corresponding to one of the angels that as he blows his trumpet these plagues are falling upon the earth.

Now, as we and our affiliated churches teach, we have a theory – though we can’t prove it; but we can’t disprove it – that we believe the Two Witnesses have a direct hand in some of these early trumpet problems.


Revelation chapter 8 –

Verse 7 – “The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

This is natural catastrophes around the world intensifying!

Verse 8 – “Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.”

Massive volcanoes spewing forth lava into the oceans!

Verse 9 – “And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, …”

Verse 10 – “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11) The name of the star is Wormwood [meaning bitter]. A third of the waters became wormwood [bitter], and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.”

According to Dr. Natalie Starkey, cosmochemist and author, “If we fail in the future to protect the planet from space threats, then we could expect a large asteroid or comet impact to wreak havoc on the Earth’s surface, resulting in major global changes and high death tolls.” Since 70% of Earth is covered in water, there’s a huge chance that an asteroid impact would happen in the ocean instead of on land. Starkey noted that the effect of an asteroid strike in the ocean can be compared to a pebble causing ripples as it hits a pond. In an actual impact scenario, mega-tsunamis will act like ripples as they travel across several miles and wipe out coastal areas. [1]

Verse 12 – “Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, …” – surely indicating that there is a lot of smoke and pollution in the atmosphere blocking out the sun during the day and the moon at night.


Our Lord Jesus Christ said that there would be a major outbreak of evil just prior to His second coming! He described a time of ‘great tribulation.’ He says – “’ And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken [Satan and his demons being thrown down to the earth from the atmosphere].’” – Luke 21:25-26. He even describes this grave time as of ‘little faith.’ Asking the question “’ Will He Really Find Faith?’”

And as stated earlier – the prophet Jeremiah describes this end-time as a time of ‘Jacob’s trouble.’ And we know just who Jacob is in this generation. It’s imperative to know just who Jacob is and how his name was changed to Israel – and that his descendants became nations and not just the tiny nation of Israel which is in the Middle East today – but is rather a multitude of nations that is scattered around the world. A time which will be great trouble for Jacob – or rather Israel as we understand them and the identity of them.

The prophet Daniel calls it a “time of trouble, such as never was.” Unprecedented in all of history! And often it’s difficult to imagine this, especially when you read back in our history concerning the Inquisitions back in the Dark Ages, and World War I in which some estimated 4 MILLION civilians died! World War II along with many of the global events which have taken place - of city-states that had overthrown the known world!? The Sumerians, the Elamites, the Amorites, the Chaldeans, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Roman Empire, and just how brutal they were to civilizations! This is speaking of a time that is going to surpass all of that! Unimaginable to think of! “The end of the age”!

Chapter 9 –

Verse 1 – “Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. …” – Again, Satan and his demons being thrown down to the earth from the atmosphere. “ … To him was given the key to the bottomless pit, 2) And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.” – as I mentioned in “A ‘Secret Rapture’?” certainly an indication that the atmosphere will be thick with volcanic ash towers or even radioactive dust and ash! And, as I have witnessed there is grave trouble with America’s disaster response. [2]

Verse 3 – “Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4) They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal [the glorious Spirit of God] on their foreheads.”

Now, we and our affiliated churches teach, we have a theory – though we can’t prove it; but we can’t disprove it – that we believe there’s a very good chance that they may be using nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons. This great army of radical Islamic soldiers 200 million strong ( cf. Revelation 9:16) will go forth swarming like locusts and as ferocious as lions. But they don’t ‘harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree’ like we see in the Book of Joel – they destroy men with different types of weapons which destroy not the buildings, trees, or grass. It’s interesting in knowing that many nations have this technology and what damage these types of weapons can indeed do.

We know that God has a seal for His true servants.

Let’s turn to the Book of Ezekiel the 9th chapter. It’s IMPORTANT that we take this in light of what we’re reading here in the Book of Revelation and of what is being prophesied here.

Verse 1 – “Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, ‘Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.’ … 3) … And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; 4) and the LORD said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’”

Verse 5 – “To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6) Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’”

What an absolutely remarkable statement! A hard to imagine event! Where the LORD God would command the slaughtering and the utter destruction of every living person except for those who possess the mark that God has placed upon them!

So, if we have God’s mark and seal upon us we will be protected from such a hideous and troubling time!

In the Book of Revelation chapter 7, it says –

Verse 2 – “Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom was granted to harm [or to damage the earth, as my margin says] ... and the sea, 3) saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’” Certainly, the implication is, ‘Don’t do any of this stuff until we make sure God’s true servants are sealed with God’s Spirit.’

Our Lord Jesus Christ says “’ Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man’” – Luke 21:36.

And we believe this and we stand upon this promise of the LORD our God! That is our hope! That even in the midst of a world gone completely insane to where it will completely annihilate itself – we have hope that we will survive and that our families will be protected. And, I want you to understand – to not necessarily survive being alive – but more akin to what the apostle Paul writes at the end of his life – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day [again, speaking of the Day of the LORD], and not to me only but also to ALL who have loved His appearing” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Recall, our Lord Jesus says, “’ He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life IN THIS WORLD will keep it for eternal life’” – John 12:25.

Going back to the Book of Revelation chapter 9 –

Verse 11 – “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.”

Now, hold your place here in chapter 9, and turn to the 13th chapter. Verse 4 – “So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

Here is Minister Michael C. Garrett writing of this ‘beast’ power:
Early on in Revelation 13, verse 2 we read about a concept which is called “the beast,” … That refers to a reorganized and revitalized concept of the “Holy” Roman Empire. Countries in Europe unify in the end-times. And Revelation 13:15 – “He [referring to a great religious leader here. It’s not referring to a political leader here] …” Well, look at verse 11 – “Then I saw another beast [speaking of this great religious leader] coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.” This is referring to a great religious leader who has its roots of power in the continent of Europe – and has had for almost two-thousand years. Verse 12 – “And he [this second beast] exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” – now, what’s that “deadly wound”!? Well, the Roman Empire – the greatest world Empire ever in the ancient world – had its height of power and completely controlled most parts of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. And yet, that great Empire eventually struggled and crumbled and disappeared. And then there were revivals of the concept of the “Holy” Roman Empire. Up to this point in history, we’ve had six revivals. The last one being Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. The Bible says there will be seven revivals altogether. We haven’t gotten to the seventh revival yet. But the seventh revitalization of the “Holy” Roman Empire is what chapter 13 is talking about early on. And so this second beast is a great religious movement.

(Garrett, M.C. The Mark of the BEAST, 2019, pp. 11-12).
So, this end-time final European ‘beast’ is directly controlled by Satan the devil.

Parenthetical -

In Luke 21:22 the Lord Jesus says of these days – “’ For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.’” – meaning all of the prophecies may be fulfilled. And we are on the edge of that time. Are we there right now!? No, I don’t think so, because world conditions do not yet comply with the things we read of in the Bible. Jesus was very specific – when you see armies surrounding Jerusalem. And then we’re told when you see that great false religious leader stands in the temple of God in Jerusalem, proclaiming that he is God. That’s when you know! The ‘abomination of desolation’ has taken place, and that’s really the big explosion that starts everything rolling! Now, to note, in our latest The WatchMan Report I briefly speak of this prophesied “temple” being built in Jerusalem in this end-time, and the fact that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a physical temple, but could very well be a “tent,” a “home” or even an “altar.”

In the Book of Daniel, there is a two-fold prophecy in which he speaks about ‘bringing an end to sacrifice and offering.’ Daniel 9:24-27.

Sadly, a great many of the churches of God badly bungle the truth concerning this two-fold prophecy. And I openly admit that in my early years of preaching, I too was following their misunderstanding of this amazing living two-fold prophecy – until the LORD our God showed me His living truth in regards to this SEVENTY WEEKS PROPHECY – vs. 27. In verse 25 God’s living word is specific that the prophet Daniel is speaking of our living Jesus Christ! – “Until Messiah.” That is who he is speaking of here. “He [our Lord Jesus Christ] shall confirm a covenant with many for ONE WEEK.” Which is biblical language meaning one day for every year – SEVEN YEARS. “But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” Certainly, we know just who was the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind! Jesus Christ! And when did He die!? He was executed in the MIDDLE OF THE WEEK – WEDNESDAY. His human life ended after 3½ years of His public ministry. Now, according to this living two-fold prophecy, He was supposed to make a covenant with many for ONE WEEK – for SEVEN YEARS! What became of the remaining 3½ years!? Well, it will be fulfilled in those events upon His glorious and powerful return. His Millennial reign actually doesn’t begin until after the first 3½ years – in which He is remolding and reshaping the earth – the people of the earth. Of getting their attitudes right. “As a Rod of Iron.” He will wield a club. He uses the physical people of the house of Israel as part of His club.

In short: The physical children of Israel, the relatively few, who have survived the end-time ‘great tribulation,’ – recall our Lord’s words, “’ but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened’” – will be gathered together from around the world in order to form the new and the revised nation of Israel. This newly formed nation of Israel, people of God, under the leadership of the recently resurrected King David, and led by Jesus Christ, will become an army that will fight and destroy the ungodly nations and people of the region. Think radical Arab and radical Islamic nations.


Revelation chapter 9 –

Verse 12 “One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.”

Verse 13 - “Then the sixth angel [or rather, messenger] sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, [ – remember you have the seven seals, the seventh seal being seven trumpets!]. 14) saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ 15) So the four angels [or, FOUR COUNTRIES - Back in the Book of Daniel we read about that - these angelic beings or demonic beings were in charge of certain states], who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.’”

Verse 16 – “Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; …”

We believe that this as well as the prophesied ‘kings of the east’ is referring to a collection of Islamic people from the eastern countries – including Indonesia, which is the most populist Islamic country in the world – with an estimated millions upon millions of Moslems in India, Pakistan – all of these countries of the east. [3] Another bloc of nations – ‘kings of the east.’ And logically we believe them to be China, Korea, and Japan. A spirit of war is spread by Satan the devil, the final “beast” power of Europe, and the final “false prophet.”

Brethren and friends – this living prophecy is not difficult to understand when you allow God’s Spirit to teach you God’s living truth in regards to His prophecies – to grow in His grace and knowledge. Surely, much of His prophecies are indeed as the apostle Paul says – “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” – 1 Corinthians 13:12.

But here we see God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ had been holding back – restraining – this massing, this assembling into one body – of a radical Islamic confederation of armies that long ago could have caused worldwide devastation the likes of which this world has never witnessed before (with the very real possibility of having obtained nuclear and or biological weapons). But here God releases the four angels (and these radical Islamic COUNTRIES would certainly be under the charge of demons) who are bound at the great river Euphrates. A terrible and bloody battle! And this Islamic army will end up being comprised of 200 million soldiers! And it appears in this generation that we have Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Moslem people of India on a counter-attack! They desire Jerusalem as well. Yet, in the end, this mighty army is destroyed!

Now, I hope and pray that I’m not losing you with all of this – it is a deep subject.

Now, we can ask ourselves the question – is our living God justified in the utter destruction of these radical Islamic confederations of armies – 200 million strong!? Why all the bloodshed!? Why all of the destruction!? The LORD God is adamant, ‘IF you will not obey Me, then I will destroy you!’ That is His judgment! He is a God of love and mercy. But His living word STANDS FIRM!

And here is a grave description of our peoples that will be destroyed –

Verse 20 – “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols …”

Now, this may come as a shock to you, but true Christians and Moslems DO NOT worship the same God! To Note: as proof that I speak the truth, we need only turn to their Koran itself –
“The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was no more than God’s apostle and His Word which He cast to Mary: a spirit from Him. … God forbid that He should have a son! His is all that the heavens and the earth contain.” – Women, 4.171.
Clearly, the Koran (written about 600 A.D.) DENIES the Son of God, Jesus Christ!

“ … of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21) And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”

Almighty God, so full of grace and mercy, gives them a chance to repent after each trumpet blast – to change. But they DO NOT REPENT!

Over in the Book of Isaiah the 13th chapter – the prophet Isaiah speaks of this end-time ‘great tribulation,’ this end-time ‘Jacob’s trouble’ – the Day of the LORD!

Verse 6 – “WAIL, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. 7) Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man’s heart will melt, 8) And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames.”

God says He won’t do anything unless it is declared from His prophets! Not only has He declared it through His prophets, but He’s also declared it through His WORD!

Verse 9 – “Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.”

Verse 10 – “For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; …”

Note the LORD our God Jesus Christ mentions this very thing, “’ Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; …’” – Matthew 24:29.

“ … The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.”

Verse 11 – “’ I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; …’”

So, if you’ve ever wondered just what is going to happen to all of the utterly wicked – here it is! Some of these terribly evil and wicked nations along with their leaders richly and absolutely deserve justice and judgment from God!

Now, earlier in the parenthetical I had briefly mentioned the physical children of Israel, the relatively few, who have survived the end-time ‘great tribulation,’ will be gathered together from around the world. In the Book of Joel the prophet Joel speaks of this –

Book of Joel chapter 3 –

Verse 1 – “’ For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem.’”

Here speaking about a two-fold prophetic statement at the time of the end when these nations are going to be in a type of subjugation. Now, do we ever hear this talked about in our news media!? That we here in the great United States of America could be someday in a state of subjugation by a foreign power!? Absolutely prostate on the ground in front of our enemies!?

Verse 2 – “’ I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.’”

There in this region where a great battle is going to take place – “They gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew Armageddon” – Tel-Megiddo.

Down in verse 9 – “Proclaim this among the nations [the Gentile nations]: ‘Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up. 10) Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”

The nations who used to be afraid of the United States of America and all of our allies, are now standing up, burning our flag, and saying “DEATH TO AMERICA!” “Allah is great, Death to America, death to Israel, A curse upon the Jews, Victory to Islam!” They are saying, ‘I am strong.’

Our great and mighty God is saying to them, ‘go ahead, stand up, be strong, grab your weapon, meet Me down here in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.’

Verse 11 – “’ Assemble and come, all you nations [Gentile nations], And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. 12) Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.’”

Every one of these nations that want to cast the tiny nation of Israel into the sea and destroy the multitude of the nations of Israel, they are going to meet Almighty God down here on this plain – and throughout history, Tel-Megiddo was the site of many great battles!

Verse 13 – “Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. …” – and in my margin, I have written, “see Revelation, chapter 14.”

“ … ‘Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow – For their wickedness is great.’” – this is the reason why.

Verse 14 – “’ Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 15) The sun and moon will diminish their brightness.’” – again cf. Matthew 24:29-30.

Verse 16 – “’ The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, …’”

Again, the thread – the hope – that runs through this terrible Message today. And surely this utter destruction of the nations doesn’t have to happen! If our nations as a whole would turn their hearts unto the LORD God and turn from their evil ways – as the Lord GOD lives, ‘Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ REPENT!

This is the Message of the Gospel!

Verse 17 – “’ So you shall know that I AM the LORD your God, …’”

In the Book of Romans, it says, “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.’

At the very name of Jesus Christ every knee shall bow. They certainly are not bowing now, they don’t want to bow down, they don’t want to hear about our Lord Jesus Christ, they don’t want to know about the Gospel Message, they don’t want to hear this Message!

But there is coming a day when they are going to bow before Him! – or die. □

Bibliography:

[1] Monzon, I., Asteroid Impact In The Ocean Will Cause High Death Toll, Scientist Warns, International Business Times, 10/12/2019. Retrieved 09 May 2022.
[2] Atkin, E., “The Troubling Failure of America’s Disaster Response” The New Republic, 17 July 2018. Retrieved 09 May 2022. https://newrepublic.com/article/149899/troubling-failure-americas-disaster-response.
3 “Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world by population, with over 200 million (88.2% of the total population) …” Praying For Indonesia. Retrieved 17 May 2022.

ADDITIONAL ARTICLES OF THE SERIES:



Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Pork - is it a Sin to Eat?



DON'T Make Excuses To Eat Pork!


THE expression “to eat the fat” is sometimes used in the Bible (cf. Genesis 45:18; Nehemiah 8:10). It has a figurative meaning. It means to enjoy the best of something good. This statement DOES NOT counter God’s instructions in other places of Scripture.

Many Bible critics cite Mark 7:1-15 as a license from Jesus the Christ (Christ being His title) that all meats are allowed to be eaten. Did our Lord Jesus do away with the prohibition of unclean meats!? Did He say that He had “purged all meats”?

The children of Israel’s dietary law was well known by the Jews in the time of Jesus. The self-righteous Pharisees criticized Jesus’ disciples for eating bread without first washing their hands – vs. 2. Our Lord Jesus’ response was to severely reprimand those self-righteous Pharisees for their rejection of God’s Commandments – vs. 6-13.

He then summoned the crowd to hear what He was about to say (vs. 14). He told them that whatever goes into a man (into mankind) from the outside cannot defile the man, but what comes out of a man can (vs. 15-23).

Now, many read verse 19 and conclude that a person can eat any kind of meat because our Lord Jesus has “purged all meats.”

Sadly, most people neither carefully study and read verse 19, or they read past it (as they should) – and thereby completely miss the entire point of Jesus’ instruction! Even our Lord Jesus’ own disciples did not immediately understand His teaching – vs. 17, and 18).

The apostle Matthew’s account shows that apostle Peter asked Him to explain it – Matthew 15:15.

Our Lord Jesus clearly was emphasizing that it is the evil things that come out of people – from within, out of the mouth and heart – that defiles a man.

And He went on to explain that to eat with unwashed hands does not spiritually defile anyone (Matthew 15:20; Mark 7:20-23).

This entire account was written to address the futility of the Pharisees’ elaborate handwashing before meals!

Privately He explained this parable to His disciples, He gave a frank description of the human body’s normal elimination of any accidentally ingested dirt.

He said that such dirt “goes out into the draught” – in other words, the sewer. There was NEVER any Old Testament command to avoid eating food with dirty hands!

Our Lord Jesus used this occasion to condemn a man-made tradition that had been elevated above the importance of getting rid of evil and rotten attitudes and thoughts that are INSIDE all human beings – thus defiling them!

Notice that in Luke 11:38, the Pharisee was astonished that our Lord Jesus sat down to dine without first washing His hands. Our Lord showed that it is much more important to control what words come out of your mouth, and what thoughts come out of your mind, than to worry about dirty hands – Mark 7:20-23.

Now Mark 7 and Matthew 15 accounts of this event have been misrepresented. A great many false ministers and teachers over the last 19 centuries have convinced their followers that our Lord Jesus annulled the long-understood distinction between “clean” and “unclean” meats!

Let us examine more closely just how they have done this.

The New English Bible inserted six extra words after “drain” – the added words are not even printed in italics. The revisers also changed the punctuation at this point, thereby producing a completely different statement altogether! They ALTERED God’s living word to read: “ … and so passes out into the drain?’ Thus he declared all foods clean.”

The blasphemous rendering of this verse is a perversion of our Lord Jesus Christ’s words to His disciples! It changed them into a categorical statement, presented, almost casually, in this and even later versions, as if it was an explanatory remark by the apostle Mark. It is a deceptive attempt to establish a completely new understanding of what Almighty God has made clean and unclean.

The addition of these six words changes the entire meaning of what our Lord Jesus actually said. This account is twisted into a license to eat anything – from rats to elephants!

This does not appear to be an innocent error in translation, but rather an outright blatant, dishonest forgery!

Now, a great many post-1885 versions of the New Testament perpetuate this blasphemous addition, with several even adding their own elaborations into Mark 7:19!! Be careful with modern versions and translations, especially any that are primarily paraphrases designed for “Easy Reading.”

We highly suggest that any true Christian use the New English Translation of the Faithful Version with Commentary by Fred R. Coulter. It is by far one of the best Bible versions to have!

Now, the apostle Peter’s version in Acts 10 contains another account that is often used to support the authorization by God to eat and consume any animal flesh. It has been misrepresented and misunderstood by careless readers.

The setting is that the apostle Peter was praying on a housetop around midday, and fell into a trance, during which he experienced a vision by God.

The apostle Peter was a Jew and was regarding uncircumcised Gentiles as defiled and unclean. This vision forever altered the way Peter and all true Christians were to view Gentiles.

The vision began with a sheet that descended from heaven containing all kinds of animals and birds.

Then God’s voice called to Peter and commanded him THREE TIMES to “’ Rise, Peter; kill and eat. What God has cleansed you must not call common.’” – vs 14.

Though many theologians try to assert that God cleansed all forms of meat through this vision, Peter was the one who saw the vision. By verse 17, two verses later, he still did not know what it meant! He was certainly sure what it did NOT mean, and said so – “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” – vs 14.

To Note: If Mark 7’s account had actually cleansed all meats, understand that it had occurred over 10-years later! By the time of this vision, Peter would have eaten unclean meats many times.

The account continues with Peter entering the house of a devout Italian man – a Gentile! God had sent three Gentile messengers from Cornelius (a Roman commander) to summon Peter to Cornelius’ house. God had told Peter to go with them, doubting nothing.

God enlightened Peter during the next two days’ events. This vision had been preparing him for an important new understanding of Gentiles, which would otherwise have been too difficult for his Jewish upbringing to accept.

Notice verse 28 – from this point forward, God wanted him to understand that he must NEVER regard any HUMAN BEING as common or unclean. The vision was not talking about “clean” or “unclean” meats!

This represented a staggering shift in understanding and practice for a Jewish fisherman who had once gasped that our Lord Jesus would even talk with a Samaritan (a Gentile) woman – see John 4:27. In verse 9 of the Book of John, it says, “For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” This was the understanding that the apostle Peter had.

The true understanding of this account – God was opening the Way for non-Israelites to be converted – it is well understood by theologians and Bible scholars! Nevertheless, many professing Christians attempt to justify the eating of unclean meats today by misunderstanding the true meaning of the apostle Peter’s vision. In his own words, we read, “ … But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” – Acts 10:28. Can anything be clearer!?

This account was not to demonstrate that God had cleansed crustaceans, rats, cockroaches, snakes, or alligators! It was to show that He was calling, granting repentance, baptizing, and gifting His Holy Spirit, to Gentiles as well – vs. 44 and 48!

Well, there’s another Scripture that is frequently used to support the misunderstanding that all meats are clean for food.

Romans 14:14 – says, “I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”

This verse is rendered this way in almost every version of Romans 14:14!

Now, on the surface, this appears to make the entire concept of unclean meats little more than a personal viewpoint. But, God’s clear command in Leviticus 11:46-47, which He calls “the law,” would be set aside. And this idea would make any commands in His living word concerning unclean meats irrelevant.

Again, on the surface, this appears as if to say that this is what the apostle Paul has become convinced of – by “the Lord Jesus” Himself. Now, does this verse really say what it appears to be saying!?

Let us examine the apostle Paul’s words closely –

The whole chapter is a lesson to those strong in the faith – Romans 15:1 – not to offend the one who is weak in the faith – Romans 14:1, especially by eating and drinking anything that would trouble the weak brethren’s conscience.

Such brethren might be a vegetarian or one who abstains from drinking wine – vs. 2 and 21. It could also be a reference to those described in 1st Corinthians 8:10. There were some who were upset seeing fellow Christians eating in an idol’s temple, and presumed that what was being eaten had been offered to idols. That chapter similarly warns the “strong” not to cause the “weak” to stumble as a result of the liberty the “strong” enjoy because of knowledge they possess – vs. 1-4, 7, 11.

In both cases, the subject has absolutely NOTHING to do with the distinction between clean and unclean meats. But doesn’t Romans 14:14 plainly say that ’there is nothing unclean of itself”?

The English translations do. But the Greek, in which it was originally written DOES NOT! The Greek word used here is koinos. And it appears three times within this one verse and it does not mean unclean. It means “common.”

This is an often-used biblical term that means defiled. Recall Matthew 15 and Mark 7. In those accounts, the same similar word koinoō is used – meaning defile.

This is also one of the two words used in Acts 10:14 to relate what the apostle Peter said during his vision.

There it is correctly translated to show that he had never eaten anything common (unclean). The Greek word for unclean is akathartos – meaning unclean, evil, foul. Those two words do not have the same meaning. Akathartos means unclean and is used to distinguish clean from unclean meats. Koinos means common and should have been so translated.

It is interesting to note that every translator and reviser, almost without exception – see the New English Translation of the Faithful Version with Commentary by Fred R. Coulter, from AD 1611 forward, mistranslated this word as “unclean” in Romans 14:14.

Yet, they managed to translate it correctly everywhere else in the New Testament! The context has nothing at all to do with the distinction between clean and unclean meats.

Why be concerned about something being common if it is already unclean!? What would be the difference!?

Now, even before the Israelites were forbidden to eat any unclean meats, they were prohibited from eating any animal that was torn by beasts in the field – Exodus 22:31.

If an Israelite ate the flesh of any clean animal – which had died of itself (this was not permissible – Deuteronomy 14:21), that person was “unclean” until evening (Leviticus 11:40). It means that he was defiled. This was the sort of defiling which does not come about by eating with unwashed hands!

No priest was permitted to defile himself by eating animals that died naturally or were torn by beasts – Leviticus 22:7.

So, what the apostle Paul was teaching in Romans 14:14 was that the “Jewish” concept of meats sometimes being common or defiled, was not an intrinsic property of the meat itself, but was a matter of perception and conscience.

As well as being vital to all who were in Rome (Romans 1:7), this vital teaching was also important to the Church at Corinth. There, some of the newly converted Gentiles were content to eat meat that may have been offered to idols.

Others, not fully understanding that an idol is nothing (1st Corinthians 8:4), would defile their own conscience, if they were to eat such meat, because they perceived it to be defiled.

Both examples strongly emphasize the importance of NOT violating one’s own conscience, and not causing brethren to stumble by inconsiderate behavior.

What About 1st Timothy 4:4-5?

There is another Scripture about meats that is commonly misunderstood. 1st Timothy 4:4-5 says, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5) for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Does this verse actually authorize the eating of leeches, maggots, tapeworms, and every other imaginable creature – even insects and parasites!?

Sadly, a great many people believe so – because they DO NOT continue reading past the first phrase!

Let us consider! If this verse was literally meaning this, it would mean that human beings are also good for food!

“Every creature of God is good” – and Genesis 1:31 says, “it was very good.” This includes every kind of parasite and poisonous creature that exists. Remember, all creatures are wonderful in their own way when used for their proper intended use!

But God our CREATOR Himself calls some of His creatures abominable and detestable when misused as food by human beings.

To properly understand this verse, we must read the previous verses more carefully. Context is the key to correct understanding.

In 1st Timothy 4:1-3, the apostle Paul speaks about a prophesied end-time defection from the truth when some true Christians would become sidetracked or even abandon correct teaching to follow after “doctrines of demons.” Some would teach vegetarianism, and he also warned that these teachings would include celibacy and abstinence from “meats.” Certainly, demons understand that clean meat contains certain proteins vital for the proper development of the mind. They know that mental deficiency makes it easier for their influence and possession.

What kinds of meats would be forbidden!? In verse 3, Paul explains, those “which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” Note the two key phrases – “which God created to be received” and “by those who believe and know the truth.”

What is “the truth”!? The apostle John wrote, “Your word is truth” – John 17:17. People who know God’s living word and what it properly teaches will know the truth about what kinds of animals God says that He “created to be received” – as distinct from what He has not created to be received! They will know what God’s word sanctifies (meaning set apart, distinguishes by separation) as good for food – 1st Timothy 4:5. And what it does not sanctify.

True Christians know what meats God expressly forbids and calls unclean. Yet false ministers and teachers continue to attempt to forbid clean meat as well as unclean meat – hence teaching vegetarianism.

Would God “Sanctify” Unclean Meats?

Let us recall the last two words of verse 5 – “and prayer.” The apostle Paul shows that food, already sanctified by the word of God and received by believers with thanksgiving, is to be further sanctified by prayer.

This occurs when we properly follow Jesus Christ’s example of giving thanks for the food we eat – asking God to bless it – to set it apart – to make it holy – since it is about to be used for a holy purpose.

Our Creator has specially created certain creatures to be good for the daily nourishment and upbuilding of our bodies.

God refers to our physical bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians, “which temple we are, if God’s Spirit dwells within us” – 1st Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19.

And we are NOT TO DEFILE this temple by polluting it with anything not sanctified by the word of God.

Is Avoiding Unclean Meats Necessary For Salvation!?

When faced with the living truth of God in Scripture, most people are unwilling to “live by every word of God,” choosing instead to disregard certain doctrines as “minor” – “not essential for salvation.” Deciding for themselves which of God’s truths are important!

So, the question can be asked: Is avoiding unclean meats necessary for salvation? The answer to that question is the answer to this question: IS OBEDIENCE TO GOD NECESSARY FOR SALVATION!?

Mankind has rejected God’s Way of life. Romans 8:7 says that the carnal (the natural or meaty) mind is not subject to His LAW. Those who have submitted to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ obey Them! Our Lord Jesus said that there are many who call Him “’ Lord, Lord’” and yet do not the things which He says! – Luke 6:46; Matthew 7:21. THAT IS SERIOUS!! Are you determined to always do what our Lord Jesus Christ says!?

Our Lord Jesus said of His apostles, “’ He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me’” – Matthew 10:40; John 13:20.

“If ANYONE defiles the temple of God, God will DESTROY HIM. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” – 1st Corinthians 3:17.

It may not be a spiritual sin to eat unclean meats. Yet, if one deliberately does it out of lust of appetite, that breaks the TENTH COMMANDMENT and becomes sin. In truth, unclean meats injure the body, which is the temple of God. It defiles the temple.

There are a multiple number of things that mankind does that go against the will of God so as to please their own fleshly lusts.

Such things as smoking, sex OUTSIDE of marriage, speaking vulgarity – Hebrews 13:4; 1st Corinthians 6:9, 18; Matthew 12:36.

People that eat pig meat are doing something that God clearly ABHORS!

In reality, partaking and consuming pig meat is as though one is spitting in God’s face! Because once His living truth has been given to someone and they turn around and reject that truth then that person is boastfully rebelling against God!

God’s living Word makes it crystal clear that swine is an abomination!

In His “Instruction Manual” God has pronounced pig – the swine – not only unfit for food (Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14), but also as a great abomination unto Him to eat its flesh! – Isaiah 65:4.

The LORD our God says that He is going to come in anger and fury (Isaiah 66:15-17) to “rebuke with flames of fire, those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, To go to the gardens After an idol in the midst, EATING SWINE’S FLESH and the abomination and the MOUSE. 1 shall be consumed together,’ says the LORD.”

Yet, in spite of these instructions and WARNINGS, this world continues to disobey and either through ignorance or willful disobedience suffers degeneration, sicknesses, and physical depravity!! 2

There are many causes of diseases! However, the consumption of millions upon millions of “unclean” – unfit for food animals – such as pigs, plays a major role in human beings getting sick, degenerating, and developing a disease!

Have you ever noticed the habits of pigs!? They are most often found lying around in a self-created stink-hole all covered with feces and flies! They are so filthy that they are known to even eat their own young and feed on their own filth!

Yet, mankind insists on eating this creature, in outright defiance against God, from his snout to his tail – nothing is wasted! We season our food with what was his feces-covered hide and convince ourselves that we cannot do without that old “pork flavor” in a pot of beans!

This world has degenerated to the very point that even “ministers” approve of the eating of pigs and sanction HAM dinners in their own churches!

The LORD God tells us in Isaiah 65:4-5 that we are nations “ ’Who sit among graves, And spend the night in the tombs; [for the purpose of necromancy, as if to hold conversations with the dead] Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of abominable things in their vessels; … 5) These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.’”

In every single instance where God refers to swine, it depicts a low state or the lowest state to which any person can stoop.

Eating pork is equally sinful in the eyes of the LORD our God! It’s vile! It's a sin!

And, it’s rather simple, we either deny ourselves and commit to God or we are NOT His! – cf. Matthew 5:48; 1st John 2:15; Romans 8:9; Galatians 2:20. □

Bibliography:

1) In biblical times plagues of mice were recorded and ancient Egyptians kept mice as pets believing they had supernatural powers. Throughout history, mice have been worshipped. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., Brown, D., Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary of the Whole Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1982, pg. 594.
2) Pigs are infected by both roundworms and tapeworms. They ingest the eggs which are in feces, … The eggs hatch in the intestine of the pig and burrow into the intestinal wall. … When the pig is slaughtered for meat, these cysts are present in muscle tissue. If the pork is under-cooked the bladder worm survives and is ingested by the human. “Worms in Pigs” Fivet. http://www.fivetanimalhealth.com/management-articles/worms-pigs. Reviewed 4 April 2022.


Monday, May 2, 2022

'Woe to those who call evil good' Sermon

 


Leonard V. Johnson







Greetings Everyone! Including our friends in Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; in Nebraska; over in Khulna, Bangladesh, and there in the Philippines. Welcome. Thank you for joining us today for this holy Sabbath day with the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries here in Spring Hill, Florida. I'm Leonard V. Johnson.
     Well, last September I began writing up and posting onto our website - www.owensborocojc.com - a series of Personals, beginning with some prehistory facts – which explain why we have the deteriorating conditions and troubles around the world today. Prehistory facts that took place long before man walked upon the Earth. And I felt that it was imperative that I began at that prehistory point in this series.
     So, in that first of the series, I had spoken of the finite universe. And how I believe, personally, that what may look limitless (as in infinite) to us, relative to our size, doesn’t look that limitless to our great and awesome CREATOR GOD! That the known universe has a certain “volume” to it – a “size” with a boundary. And I found it awe-inspiring that I had come across the heliosphere at the outer edges of our solar system, which had been studied by cosmologists for many years when the New Horizon spacecraft in 2018 confirmed results that were first detected back in 1992 by the two Voyager spacecrafts – those long-term studies came to fuller fruition and understanding! We ARE living in a bubble! A protective bubble! But with this protective bubble, we certainly owe our very existence and protection to our great and awesome God!
     Now, in that first Personal, I had also spoken of the TWO TREES that God had placed in the midst of the garden of Eden. And man (as in mankind) was given an option to choose (for they were created as free moral agents) the tree of Life (which represented God’s Holy Spirit), or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – which meant them taking unto themselves what is good and what is evil.
     I mention the word evil here because I want to focus in this sermon today on: “them taking unto themselves what is good and what is evil.” Mankind has been continuing to do this very thing right up to this very day. I came across the other day while doing some research for my latest sermon on our internet a slurry of religious websites claiming to be “Christian,” stating most emphatically that evil is not necessarily sin. Well, God’s Spirit is moving me to say, one walks a fine line with that type of thinking. And it is so easy to fall off! Those false ministers of Satan the devil’s – and I say this because God tells us that man DOES NOT have the right to rationalize away His living word – the Holy Bible (cf. Proverbs 16:25; Romans 9:20-21) – quote Scripture in their arguments that evil is not necessarily sinful – such as Isaiah 45:7 –
     “ … ‘I make peace and create evil. …’” They are claiming, teaching, and propagating that God created evil! As usual, taking this very verse out of context. By the by: God DID NOT create evil. Even the Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary rightly understand that God [gives] ‘form’ to previously existing matter. 1 In this instance – evil. God (Elohim – the family of God) looked upon creation and saw that “it was very good” – Genesis 1:31. Would one claim that evil is - or as they claim, evil can be good!? Because if you do – then you are against God! Because the LORD of hosts says -
     “’ Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!’” – Isaiah 5:20.
     God’s living word is replete with this understanding of evil cf. – “Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house” – Proverbs 17:13.
     In short – God placed within the garden of Eden Adam and Eve, and the LORD God told them God’s Way and had the “tree of Life” readily available to them. And He certainly wanted them to choose of the tree of Life! Yet, we know the outcome – they chose from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They chose to follow the way of Satan the devil. They rejected the very kingdom of God and willingly placed themselves under the rule of the “god of this present evil age” – 2 Corinthians 4:4. And as I said earlier, people ever since have been following their lead – choosing to follow Satan the devil’s way rather than Almighty God’s.
     God allowed them to choose their own thing! Thus this world runs upon greed, hatred, rebellion, jealousy – and yes, evil. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, …” – and again I might add: they want to have the right to rationalize away with God, “ … God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which ARE NOT FITTING” – Romans 1:28.
     According to God’s living word – the very word in which all mankind must live by – ‘by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4) – “good vs. evil” is not a matter of debate! God’s word does not teach that the boundaries of good and evil are interchangeable. Nor does His word teach that evil is neutral. It is God who teaches us just what is good and what is evil by a perfect and unchanging CREATOR. As an example, our dearest apostle Paul says, “ … I would not have known sin [or evil for that matter] except through the Law [summed up with the Ten Commandments]” – Romans 7:7.
     God’s living word teaches us that there is a real and significant difference between good and evil.
     These false ministers point at us in our rightly stating that God created all things (cf. John 1:3). And indeed God did! They reason amongst themselves that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God. However, evil in and of itself is not a “thing.” You cannot have a safe full of evil. Evil has no existence of its own. It is actually the absence of good. As an example, holes in a donut are real, but they only exist in something else. When God created, all He created was “very good” – Genesis 1:31. Evil, again, is the absence of good. Or rather, evil is the absence of God.
     And God (again, Elohim – the family of God; at this time consisting of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ {1}) has always existed! Recall: He is “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, …” – Hebrews 7:3. God created the heavens and the earth – along with the whole known universe! And since God created all this from His own creative power – having the wisdom to place it all together – to make it function – wouldn’t God also want His creation to know how to live!?
     Now, God’s Way is the right way! It was Satan the devil who introduced rebellion, deception, chaos, hatred – and yes, evil. As stated earlier – evil is everything against God’s perfect and righteous Way. Evil is sin and sin is evil.
     God is not the author of evil, nor is there any evil in God!

You Must Believe God!

     Back in 2018, as I was studying God’s living word in relation to the resurrections, I came across the conversation that our Lord Jesus was having with Jairus, a synagogue ruler at the time, concerning his daughter. And I came to the living words of our Lord – which I had read and studied hundreds of times before – “ ’Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.’” And a few days later I was on the phone with a sycophant leader of a church organization in Tampa, Fl., and I had inadvertently mentioned to him that God had spoken to me in regards to this said Scripture. And he stopped me and said, “What do you mean, ‘God spoke’ to you!?” And I said, “In my mind and through His living word.” But I could tell from his reaction over the phone, that he doesn’t believe - in his heart – that God can contact you in your mind and speak with you. But our great and awesome God had. And He had said to me, “You don’t have to understand it, but you MUST believe Me!” – again, in regards to Luke 8:52 and John 5:28-29.
     There are millions upon millions of people who say, “Oh, I believe in God.” My wife says that to me all the time. And I say to her, “But you don’t believe God, do you!?” She then goes on to try and disqualify the Bible as God’s Authorized word, by claiming that it’s been rewritten and rewritten. And, I understand that they don’t understand. Truly, you have to know what God’s living word says before you know whether you believe it or not. Adam and Eve believed in God. They knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that God was their CREATOR. They never questioned that.
     In the New Testament, there were hundreds and hundreds of people who believed in Christ. There were a great number of Jews who believed in Jesus. And to those Jews who believed in Him He says, “ ’If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32) And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” – John 8:30-32. They too were claiming, as do these false ministers of these slurry of religious websites claiming to be “Christian,” to believe in Him. Jesus went on to tell them that He knows that they are Abraham’s descendants, but that they “ …’ seek to kill’ …” Him because His word has no place in them. And today, these false ministers want to kill His word and rationalize away His word!
     Even today, in this 21st-century world, multiple millions just say, “All you have to do is believe in Jesus!” YES! MILLIONS DO! But, our Lord Jesus says, “ ’And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” And that is what is happening all over the world!
     Yet, these “untaught people” – many who have an M.D. behind their name who insist on falsehoods are determining for themselves what is good and what is evil! But God’s living word states – “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” – Judges 17:6. And that is as good a definition of this 21st Century as I have ever read!
     Well, let’s examine this word evil. As in Isaiah 5:20 – “’ Woe to those who call evil good, …’” In Hebrew it's ra ‘. Notice this from the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary in regards to Isaiah 45:7 – 

[Mr. Johnson reads from the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary page 520]

     I make peace, and create evil. ... This translation has misled some to surmise …” – what a nice word for the word ass-u-me! “that the simple explanation for evil is that God is its source. Exegetes, though, have long noted that the verse is not about the source of evil but rather about divine providence “causing well-being and creating calamity.” 2
     And there is that word – calamity. In fact, in my New King James Version, the translators have properly changed the word evil to calamity, as in – “I form the light and create calamity ... ” {2} After all, in proper context, the LORD God is speaking concerning King Cyrus II of Persia in whom He shall direct.

A Bubble of a World

     Sadly, in this world in which I have lived for some 51 years, I have noticed that a great many people tend to be small-minded and live their lives in a type of individual “world.” They accept their own particular world in attitude and superiority and look with a kind of disdain at anyone outside their bubble of a world. It is a sort of self-centeredness.
     And it was in this kind of world that our Lord Jesus came as the Savior for all mankind. He came to begin an entirely NEW AND COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORLD! He said, “ ’On this Rock I will build My church.’” And indeed He did! But this world hardly recognizes His living Church. The New Testament Church along with her teachings were suppressed all within 40 years – even as soon as AD 49, cf. Galatians 1:6 – and counterfeit gospels escalated into a great religion that calls itself Christian. And God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ tell us to “ ’Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” – Revelation 18:4.
     Oh, but brethren and friends, it was prophesied! Our peoples have become a curse unto themselves! We are literally destroying ourselves – by varying means!
     Truly in 2 Timothy chapter 3 we read of this end-time –
     “ … in the last days perilous times will come: 2) For men will be lovers of themselves …” Now, what could be more shameful and despicable of self-love than this world and each individual in their own little self-bubble!? It is MY nation, MY property, MY pleasure, MY comforts, MY fish in the seas! – not those of others! And I use “My fish in the seas,” because nations such as China overfish our seas! China is, far and away, the world’s biggest offender when it comes to overfishing! Overfishing isn’t environmental alarmism. It is a demonstrable problem in the world’s food supply that has potentially catastrophic consequences. 3 {3}
     “ … lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3) unloving, …” continues the apostle Paul’s blistering indictment against a gluttonous world – a world in which we are living today. “ … unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, …”
     How terribly accurate was this prophecy! The apostle Paul was inspired by and through God’s Spirit to picture in living color a blood-scattered caricature of this gruesome world. Our rotting morals!
     “ … traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness [such as these false ministers hiding behind their degrees] but denying its power. And from such people TURN AWAY!” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
     The LORD of hosts says, “’ Hear the word of the LORD!’ … 8) Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. 9) Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal [and to note: have you ever looked up the true origin of the rabbit at Easter!? What about the colored bulbs on your Christmas tree!?], and walk after other gods whom you do not know 10) and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name [which is FALSELY LABELED!], and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’?’” – Jeremiah 7:2, 8-10.
     Sadly, the larger majority of our peoples continue in this nightmare of pleasure-seeking, streaming weird and violent movies, nudism and perverted sex, and heinous crimes against mankind. As God has said – this world is MENTALLY SICK! And we’re SPIRITUALLY SICK!
     The LORD our God charges, “ ’Hear, O heavens, and give ear O earth! For the LORD has spoken … Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward. 5) Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. THE WHOLE HEAD IS SICK, And the whole heart faints [our nations and our peoples!]. 6) From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; …” – Isaiah 1:2, 4-6.
     Yes, our rotting and putrefying sores were prophesied!

Are You “Sick”!?

     Nearly every Sunday morning with coffee in hand I sit down to watch the news from around the world. But I don’t sit there long before I’m jumping up in disgust, incensed, after seeing and hearing the recent developments of this present evil age! Are you even remotely interested in the utter destruction of our world!? Are you incensed!? Are you enraged!? Filled with disgust, compassion, and a longing for the kingdom of God to soon come and rule this earth!?
     Your day-by-day reaction to the conditions around you, as well as your reaction to this very sermon, is determining your spiritual condition! Minister Garrett has likened it to a “Spirit-O-Meter.” {4} It’s a way of determining your spiritual temperature! This world is not God’s world. He is very soon going to utterly destroy this present evil world, with all its cherished practices, hates, lies, murderers, adulteries – and yes its evil which is being FALSELY LABELED AS GOOD – or not necessarily sin!
     Our great God says that this modern world is filled with a lust for blood! – cf. An estimated 62 MILLION abortions have occurred since Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973! Our peoples delight in iniquity, in SIN, in TORMENT, in TERROR and VIOLENCE!
     Here within the next few years the LORD our God is going to give the greatest show of violence ever displayed since the earliest of beginnings of time!
     The angel who is in charge of the waters says, “ ’For they have shed the blood of the saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due’” – Revelation 16:6.
     Keep in mind, Lot, who “sighed and cried” because of the abominations around him, was worthy of escape from the impending doom!
     Most people are spiritually calloused! Surely they see the glaring news reports that violence, homicides and aggravated assaults are occurring at a great ever rate!? The atrocities, the misrepresentation of lies, the religion of politics. Yet, most appear resigned to these growing conditions. And no wonder – they have witnessed and seen within their estimated 37.9 years thousands of atrocious, violent, and horrible acts one after another on television! - an average American youth will witness 200,000 violent acts on television before age 18. 4
     Multiple MILLIONS of our peoples have resigned to this world’s frightening conditions! They seem unable to be really stirred up about important issues! Oh, but the killing of Cecil the lion – as atrocious and terrible as that was – resulted in an absolute frenzy of international media attention, an outrage among millions of people who marched in the streets in protest! But again, what about the MURDER of some estimated 62 MILLION and growing unborn babies since 1973!? Where is their international media attention!? Just sayin’. Sadly, people are far more excitable and stirred up over a football game than about the Russia and Ukrainian war, or the continued starvation and genocide of helpless fellow human beings!
     It is a deep mark of just how sick our societies have become!
     And many people try to convince themselves that our societies, our cities, our countries and nations, are not sick! As an example, the other day I went over to a friends house and noticed for the first time that the community he lives in has put up an entrance gate – as if to say, “Let’s keep all the undesirables on the other side of the fence. As long as we’re safe, the rest of the world can go to hell!” They’re submerged in their bubble of a world!
     But it’s time -  it's OVERTIME - to STOP KIDDING YOURSELF!
     You can – and should – REPENT and COME OUT of this evil world –
     “ ’I tell you, no; but unless you REPENT you will all likewise perish’” – Luke 13:3.
     “Then Peter said to them, ‘REPENT, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” – Acts 2:38.
     “REPENT therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” – Acts 3:19.
     Or, you can continue living under your bubble of a world, with your own belief that if I just live behind an entrance gate I’ll be safe.
     “Do not love the world OR THE THINGS IN THE WORLD. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16) For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. 17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” – 1 John 2:15-17.
     You must admit to yourself the true conditions of this present evil age! STOP living in your own little bubble – believing that “things aren’t really that bad!”
     Look into God’s spiritual mirror of His living word – and let His words reflect every rotting and putrefying sore you have – every evil, every deception, every resentment, every rebellion, or hostility of your mind and heart.
     Then REPENT unto God! It’s the only way of survival for you.
Thank you so very much for listening TODAY to the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries. So, until next time, this is Leonard V. Johnson, saying, good bye for now.

Editor's Notes:

{1} Editor's Note: The Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries gives a whole series of sermons on our Fundamental Beliefs located on our YouTube channel.

{2} Editor's Note: Mr. Johnson was paraphrasing here.

{3} Editor's Note: Mr. Johnson added this statistic concerning China but saw a television show called How America Works Season 1 "Fishing" in which he believes, personally, that America "legally" overfishes the oceans as well.

{4} Editor's Note: In actuality Mr. Garrett phrased this, "your spiritual 'tank'" in the sermon "Day of Pentecost - 2019," which we have transcribed on our website www.owensborocojc.com. 

Bibliography:

1) Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., Brown, D., Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary of the Whole Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1982, 567.

2) Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Brand, C., and Mitchell, E.A., B&H Publishing Group, © 2015, pgs. 520-521.

3) Perry, C., China and Overfishing, American Thinker, 13 May 2021, retrieved 27 April 2022.

4) Violence in the Media and Entertainment (Position Paper), AAFP.org, retrieved 27 April 2022.